JH Conservation Alliance speakers to tackle WY wildlife issues at event tonight

(Jackson, Wyo.) - Tonight, the Jackson Hole Conservation Alliance will host two speakers on wildlife issues in Wyoming. *Consequences of Endemic Chronic Wasting Disease in a Wyoming Mule Deer Herd* Melia DeVivo Chronic wasting disease (CWD) is a fatal prion disease of deer (Odocoileus spp.), elk (Cervus elaphus), and moose (Alces alces). The effects of CWD on cervid demography and ecology and ultimately population sustainability are poorly understood. Free-ranging mule deer (Odocoileus hemionus) south of Douglas, Wyoming were studied to determine the impacts of CWD on survival, fecundity, behavior, and genetic selection. Mule deer were captured and tested for CWD using tonsil biopsies from 2010-2014. Captured deer were equipped with global positioning system radio-collars and monitored twice weekly until study termination. Study results suggest CWD is a population-limiting disease of mule deer and long-term persistence of this mule deer herd is uncertain. Melia DeVivo recently completed her Ph.D. in Veterinary Sciences at the University of Wyoming. Dr. DeVivo has 10 years of experience in cervid ecology and management and is an expert in wildlife disease epidemiology. While she hails from Pennsylvania, she considers the Rocky Mountain west home. *Wyoming’s Big Game Migrations: New discoveries tracing incredible journeys* Wyoming’s big game migrations are incredible and cherished by hunters, scientists, ranchers, and the general public, but their survival depends on humans working together. This program will feature still images and video showing Wyoming’s big game migrations, tracing the history of human interaction with wildlife in motion, from prehistory to modern day scientific conservation efforts. Wyoming is home to the longest big game migrations in the United States, where deer, pronghorn, elk, moose, and bighorn sheep follow green forage to higher and higher elevations throughout the summer. Now that scientists are working to identify these migrations more clearly than ever before, how can stakeholders find common ground that allows for conservation and economic development? This talk is sponsored by the Wyoming Humanities Council’s ThinkWY Road Scholars tours. Gregory Nickerson is a writer and filmmaker for the Wyoming Migration Initiative at the University of Wyoming. Originally from Big Horn, he has a master’s degree in history from UW. He has produced history documentaries in Philadelphia, and worked as a hunting guide at the Darwin Ranch in the Gros Ventre Mountains. The event will take place tonight at the Old Wilson Schoolhouse at 6 p.m. It is free and open to the public. *Feature Photo: (Left to Right) Melia DeVivo and Gregory Nickerson. h/t Jackson Hole Conservation Alliance / Pitchengine Communities* #buckrail #news